I can lose track of time experimenting in the kitchen and changing up old recipes. Since some of my favorite dishes involve hours of prep time, I don’t get to make them as often as I would like. I enjoy cooking almost as much as I love eating, a result of growing up with home cooked meals on the table every night. Since my family is Middle Eastern and Hispanic, we have a plethora of traditional recipes to fall back on for dinner. However, we have never written any of those down, so even when we make the same dishes, they turn out different each time. I’ve had rice and chicken cooked in so many different ways that I have lost count! At my house, we could be eating spaghetti or rice and beans for dinner one night and stuffed vine leaves or couscous the next.

Spending time in the kitchen is also important to my coworkers. Duncan and Alyssa both enjoy using quinoa in their culinary endeavors, since it is such a versatile grain. Colleen makes pulled pork that involves a three-day-long process of marinating in a dry rub, then more time in a slow cooker. Chelsea loves making tator tot hotdish. Duncan, Lori, and Colleen enjoy spicy foods and include hot sauce in their favorite dishes, whether for shredded chicken quinoa or rice and beans.

But while the PSG staff appreciates good food as much as I do, the office has more bakers than cooks. Annette is known for her pumpkin whoopie pies and Tess likes to bake banana bread and jellyrolls. Kate is quite the adventurous baker, always trying creative recipes she finds on Pinterest that look too good to eat.

While I don’t eat spicy foods, I find my coworkers’ outlook of “the spicier the better” rather impressive, and since I’m more of a dessert eater than a baker, I admire the office’s collective baking prowess. Even though we all seem to have varied tastes in our favorite foods and the recipes we like to prepare, we can all agree that discussions about food and dessert make us hungry. Cue the cravings!

Did You Know?

American Cookery (full name: American Cookery of the Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and all Kinds of Cakes from the Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake Adapted to This Country and all Grades of Life) was the first cookbook to be written and printed in the United States. It was published in 1796 and included recipes that incorporated Native American ingredients into traditional dishes. Only four copies of this cookbook with its original 47-word-long title still exist today, and you can take a look at a few pages of one here.

Photo Credit: Megan Chromik